Press Statement

Afghanistan: Outlet raided, Kunduz journalist arrested

20 Jun, 2024

Journalist Ali Sina Khodayar was reportedly arrested in Kunduz, while news outlet Tamadon TV was temporarily shut down due to Taliban claims it was linked to a political party. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the arrest and shutdown and urges the Taliban to allow the media to operate without fear of retribution.

On June 6, reporters working for the private broadcaster Tamadon TV reported that Taliban authorities had issued orders to shut down the channel for its alleged connections to a banned political party, the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, and alleged misuse of Taliban land. According to local media sources, a delegation from the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice visited the broadcaster’s office on June 6 and informed officials that the media outlet operations would be stopped and the office blocked.

As of June 8, broadcasts have been allowed to continue. Officials from the broadcaster have denied the Taliban’s claims, instead reporting that the land the Taliban belongs to it was purchased privately, and that the channel’s founder, Asif Mohseni, had resigned from Harakat-e-Islami in 2005, prior to the channel’s establishment.

In a separate incident, Radio Zahra broadcast director in Kunduz province Ali Sina Khodayar was arrested by the Taliban at 2:00p.m. on June 1, reportedly after he had failed to meeting with officers. Held for over a week, Khodayar was released on June 9 after the intervention of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJU). According to Khodayar’s family, the Taliban had denied relatives visttation rights, and failed to provide information on his status or whereabouts. Reportedly, the Taliban cited the publication of ‘anti-government materials’ and his critical coverage as reasons for his arrest.

The IFJ said: “The IFJ condemns the shutdown of Tamadon TV, and reports of the arrest of Ali Sina Khodayar. Journalists should be allowed to operate without fear of retaliation for their work, and it is the duty of Afghanistan’s Media Complaints and Rights Violations Commission to handle such complaints without need of direct shutdowns or intimidation.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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